One Wild Journey, One Crazy Couple, One Life to Live
We are now in the process of trying to register the Volkswagen with the Authorities in Afghanistan. We need to do this so we can get the car’s documents in our names for processing the Carnet de Passages en Douane. Luckily, because I am Canadian, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), will do the paper work for the Carnet for us. However, they do need basic documents such as the registration, and they need something in English.
So, we asked a few friends and friends of friends to look into how we could go about get the new licence plates (that have both Dari and English), and registration in our name. Everyone came back with slightly different steps to take, and slightly differet price tags. This is after the government has supposedly streamlined the Afghan vehicle-registration system to make it a five-step process, replacing one that involved 51 steps and at least $400 in bribes. I am not sure how the five-step process is better when it seems the cost to us will be over $1500!
Finally, we asked a ‘fixer’ friend of a friend who can apparently work magic to take on the process. The price tag he has quoted us is $1200. I suppose that is better than $1500, but I think I prefer the old 51 step process for $400. One way or the other, we need the car registered, or no Carnet.
The Carnet can be thought of as a passport for your car. According to the CAA website, “it offers a guarantee to a foreign government that the vehicle identified in the Carnet, if granted temporary importation status, will be removed from the country within the time limit imposed by the respective jurisdiction. Using the Carnet is an alternative to leaving a cash security deposit with a foreign government. It allows free movement and unencumbered access between foreign countries. Most countries, but not all, allow this option”. I think we are planning to travel through some of the “not all” countries and I have a sneaky suspicion that we may be asked to leave a cash security deposit with a few foreign governments, regardless. The problem is, I also suspect they will be non-refundable deposits.